Wynonna Judd is opening up to the public for the first time since the death of her mother, Naomi Judd, on April 30th of this year.
At 76 years old, country music icon Naomi Judd tragically died by suicide, just a day before her formal induction into the the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Naomi’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, carried forth with the induction ceremony, and followed it up with a public memorial at the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium.
And Wynonna and Naomi, who are best known as The Judd’s, are one of the most successful musical duos in history, selling more than 20 million albums, earning 14 #1 singles on country radio and winning five Grammy awards throughout their illustrious career.
Wynonna sat down with Lee Cowan on CBS Sunday Morning over the weekend to talk about the death or her mother and what their relationship was really like off stage:
“There’s nothing like family harmony. And sometimes the only harmony we had was in music. We were incredibly close, and then she’d get mad at me, ‘Why did you do that?’
And then we’d not get along and be disconnected. And then we’d come back together and hug and cry. It was incredibly complicated. We tried really hard, and those are the tears.
Because I know that we tried. And we did pretty damn good, most of the time.”
Naomi openly battled depression for most of her life, as well as hepatitis C for many years, which ultimately led her to retire in the early 90’s.
Wynonna recalled getting the call about her mother’s death earlier this year and rushing to the hospital to say goodbye:
“I got the call, and I went over, and I saw her and that was that. I said goodbye to her in the hospital, and I closed her eyes, and I kissed her forehead and that was that.
And the next thing I know, I’m sitting here on the front porch, on the side porch… you know, and I’m just tryin’ to figure out what’s next.”
At the age of 76, Naomi took her own life, and Wynonna added that it came as a shock to her because she didn’t realize what Naomi was going through at the time:
“I did not know that she was at the place she was at when she ended it, because she had had episodes before and she got better.
And that’s what I live in, is like, ‘Was there anything I should have looked for or should I have known?’ I didn’t. That’s why it’s such a shock.”
She noted that she’s still “incredibly angry” about the tragic situation, but that she can still feel her mother “nudging” her in her everyday life:
“I feel her nudging me. And sometimes, I laugh. And sometimes, I say, ‘I really miss you. Why aren’t you here so we can argue?’
She told me one time, she took my hand and she said, ‘My life is better because of you.’ Those are the memories that are starting to come through more and more.
I think when you lose your mother, a lot of that crap goes away, because it doesn’t matter anymore. It just doesn’t.”
She also added that her bond with her sister, actress Ashley Judd, is stronger than ever, and that they’ve been able to lean on each other throughout the last six months or so.
She’s still hitting all the same stops, but will be joined by some other awesome ladies like Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Brandi Carlile, Ashley McBryde and Trisha Yearwood on this run of shows.
She already knows the first night will bring many mixed feelings about the death of her mother and what this tour was supposed to be, though her mission has always been to touch people’s hearts through music, and that’s exactly what she intends to do:
“As I walk out on stage that first night, I’ll probably say something like, ‘It’s not supposed to be like this.’ Because it’s not, right? It’s supposed to be the two of us.
And I’m going to be angry because she’s not there. I wanna come out on stage and sing from my toenails, a song that helps someone out in that audience.
It’s about me singing to help someone feel better. That’s always in my spirit.”
You can watch the full feature with Wynonna here:
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741 if you or someone you know is considering suicide.